Did You Know Texas Has Tougher Penalties on First Offense DWIs Where A Person’s BAC Is Above 0.15?

214-402-4364 – Collin County 24-Hour Jail Release
Office: 972-562-7549

It used to be in Texas on a first offense DWI, regardless of the person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC), the punishment was a fine that would range from $0 to $2,000 and from 72 hours to 180 days in jail (which could be probated). This across the board approach to first offense DWIs changed on September 1, 2011, and a lot of folks are still unaware the law has changed.

The punishment listed above is still good law on a DWI first offense, but only if the person’s BAC is below a 0.15. Keep in mind a 0.08 BAC is considered legally intoxicated in Texas. Today, if a person’s blood alcohol concentration is above a 0.15, the punishment range is enhanced to a fine from $0 to $4,000 and from 0 days to 1 year in jail (again, which may be probated) regardless of whether it is a first offense.

The 0.15 BAC and above enhancement also has significant impact on the surcharges that DPS will levy on a person following a DWI conviction. Specifically, if a person’s BAC is below a 0.15, the standard DPS surcharge for having a driver’s license following a DWI conviction will be $1,000 a year for a period of three years. If a person’s BAC is above 0.15, then the surcharge jumps up to $2,000 a year for the three-year period.

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